MAP helps thousands caught in Kenya crisis

Date: 25 Mar 2008

MAP helps thousands caught in Kenya crisis

Despite an agreement signed more than a month ago that many people hoped would quell the recent fighting in Kenya, hostilities have continued in this east African country that was once the most stable in the region.

The initial conflict erupted over a political power struggle between President Mwai Kibaki and his opponent, Raila Odinga, after a disputed presidential election in late December. Each side accused the other of rigging the election, and brutal clashes arose between members of Kibaki’s Kikuyu tribe, the largest in Kenya, and an ad hoc coalition of clans including members of Odinga’ Luo tribe. In the weeks that followed, violent mobs wielding machetes, guns and other weapons killed more than 1,000 people and drove more than half a million others from their homes.

It is the worst violence that Kenya has seen in more than a decade. And though the two politicians signed a power-sharing agreement in late February, attacks have continued between members of opposing tribes. Many of the survivors, who often fled just moments before their homes were torched by attacking mobs, have taken up temporary residence in tents at crude, makeshift camps dotting the country. Continue reading